Federal Court Upholds FedEx Ground Driver Classification Ruling

The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Kansas Supreme Court Ruling that more than 500 FedEx Ground drivers should have been classified as employees and not as independent contractors. Both the federal court and the Kansas Supreme Court rulings overturned a previous verdict from a litigation panel.

The U.S. Courts of Appeals are the final stage before cases are heard before the Supreme Court. In a statement following the verdict, FedEx Ground notes that the Seventh Circuit decision only applies to drivers who worked in Kansas from 1998 to 2007, and that the independent contractor model in question in the case is no longer in use. The company is exploring its options, including a possible appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

FedEx Ground alone has extensive experience with driver plaintiffs in employee classification lawsuits. Last month, the company reached a $228 million settlement with truck operators in California. The company notes over 100 state and federal rulings in similar cases that affirm that FedEx Ground contracted service providers are properly classified.

Employee classification is a major issue for TIA members, which is why the TIA Operations Committee has produced a Fair Labor Standards Act Framework (available in the Members Only section of the TIA website) to assist TIA members in knowing and complying with the law. For more information on this issue please contact Will Sehestedt at sehestedt@tianet.org or 703-299-5713.